Love and encouragement came to visit in the form of Jim and Gary. Jim was one of our teachers in college. I even did a little work study for him. Gary visited my family in Africa when I was about nine years old, so it was a pretty amazing divine appointment that only Father could arrange to have him visiting my family 22 years later in China!
They both dug right in investing in our family, and touching all of our hearts. They said, "We will be your easiest guests," and they meant it. Even that first day, Eden said with surprised enthusiasm, "Mom, Gary does everything he can to be nice," and it was true. Xavier was especially drawn to Jim and wanted to be held by him at every opportunity.
They went to class with Jacob, and worked with some of his students.
They indulged our kids in hugs, words of affirmation, games, and giggles, seemingly tirelessly.
We had our second class party while they were there, and Eden helped me prepare in the kitchen.
This class felt special to be the ones to come while Jim and Gary were here, and it made us realize the importance of involving other friends at our parties for our students to talk to.
Ephraim took this picture. "Mr. Gary" had quite the crowd while Jim talked to the same girl, L, the entire party. I got the joy of treating her to her first cup of coffee ever this week!
Ephraim was feeling especially cool this evening.
So many great students with so much potential.
Jacob's friend took him, Jim and Gary to some popular places in Changchun.
I like to pretend this is beautiful morning mist instead of unhealthy smog.
Overall, their visit was so fruitful, and we all felt loss at their departure.
Even Xavier woke up the next morning saying, "Jim, Jim, Jim."
These last two pictures break my heart. They show the intense rapid bonding and depth of sorrow at frequent goodbyes that TCKs experience. It was heartbreaking to see in my own children what I have experienced myself, but I know He is faithful to work for good even the pain of goodbye. We are truly better for having this precious time with Jim and Gary. May we not merely remember their visit with fondness, but live out the love and encouragement they taught us.
Showers of Blessing:
Visitors from home
Who show unconditional love to our children
Who invest in us
Who invest in our students
Loving Father who knows exactly what we need